Because of its proximity to mainland China, moving business to Hong Kong is a popular choice for expat entrepreneurs. Hong Kong is, in many ways, the expat businessman’s dream where companies can reap huge international markets and pay little in taxes. Moving to Hong Kong will allow you to take advantage of an ambitious workforce in one of the freest economies in the world, and the move to Hong Kong is relatively simple.
So is Hong Kong the right place for you and your business to relocate to? Let’s find out.
Hong Kong has a unique history of sovereignty that makes it very different from other places in the world. It has many modern luxuries, including premium shops, large malls, some of the best restaurants in the world, and cutting edge residences. Expat life in Hong Kong is one of the luxury and high class amenities.
The average expat living in Hong Kong should expect some of the most friendly business regulations in the world, making Hong Kong particularly attractive to expats starting or relocating business to Hong Kong. Excluding financial businesses, Hong Kong regulations and start up times for businesses, even for foreigners moving to Hong Kong, are low. The Hong Kong Dollar has been pegged to the US Dollar since 1983, and investment restrictions are very lax. Hong Kong is rated as one of the most desirable destinations for expats looking to further their careers or move their business to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world, extremely clean, well connected, and considered an excellent place to relocate with your family due to the high education standards. There are already many expats living in Hong Kong, making networking a breeze. It is home to many parks and coastal areas, and has one of the most efficient public healthcare systems in the world.
In a nutshell, Hong Kong is safe, clean, and excellent for expats moving to Hong Kong from US or other nations. This is especially true for those that are moving business to Hong Kong.
Income tax in Hong Kong is on a progressive scale, depending on your income amount.
Personal allowances are granted to people living in Hong Kong under certain conditions, and a flat tax rate of 15% is applied if your net chargeable income before personal allowances is lower than the progressive rates applying to your net chargeable income after personal allowances.
Some of these personal allowances include:
Three different income taxes are levied in Hong Kong as opposed to a single income tax. These are
Non-residents are liable to the salaries tax for salaries sourced from Hong Kong.
When you move to Hong Kong or relocate your business to Hong Kong, you may find yourself packing more than will fit into your plan. Relocation services exist that will help in this endeavor, and while rates vary, generally sea freight is cheaper and more cost effective for heavy objects, while air freight is more expensive and better for speed of delivery.
If you are relocating your business to Hong Kong, it might be worth bringing office equipment with you as Hong Kong offices are not as digital as other countries. These amenities are available in Hong Kong, but due to lack of demand may not offer the same variety you are used to, especially if you are moving to Hong Kong from the US.
There are several types of visas for Hong Kong, each that requires 2 to 3 months to certify.
Consider applying for one of them before moving to Hong Kong.
As an expat in Hong Kong, you will most likely apply for the GEP visa. As a general rule, Hong Kong accepts applications for skill sets and education backgrounds not common in Hong Kong.
Depending on if you are relocating business to Hong Kong or you are moving to Hong Kong from the US or other country to seek work, you will have different requirements for entry. Future employees will need:
Future employers will need to provide their employees with:
Hong Kong is the most expensive real-estate market as of 2020, according to Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis Ground INC (CBRE). The Covid-19 Pandemic affected the real-estate market, so prices are lower than they were, but with average property prices around $2,000 per square foot and rental prices around $2,000 per month for a one bedroom, Hong Kong remains an expensive real estate market. House prices in Hong Kong get lower the further you are from the center, where prices average closer to $3,300.
People in Hong Kong usually speak both Cantonese Chinese and English, though the written language is more likely to be Traditional Chinese.
Because of over a century and a half of British rule, Hong Kong has a unique cultural identity from both Chinese and British influences. Society can be described as “Confucian”, with values including solidarity of family, strong senses of courtesy, and saving face is most prominent. This especially places a role in Hong Kong business culture, so keep this in mind if you are moving business to Hong Kong.
Expats in Hong Kong can choose from public or private healthcare systems. Hong Kong provides healthcare for everyone for nearly free with no financial contributions. It caters to both citizens and non-permanent citizens. The public system does not cover dental and can experience high wait times. Before moving to Hong Kong, if you opt for the private option, make sure your insurance covers some costs because it is quite expensive.
The minimum wage in Hong Kong is under $5, but the average salary is around $2,000 a month for most expats. Expats living in Hong Kong should investigate working in the finance sector as those jobs pay much more than other job types. The average salary for managers in finance is about $65,000 per year. Other sectors to investigate include marketing, project management, and software engineering. Consider moving to Hong Kong to further your career.
Expats in Hong Kong can register to start a business with relative ease. Hong Kong even allows business owners to do so without living in Hong Kong with no requirements not already required of Hong Kong citizens. Potential owners moving their businesses to Kong Kong can register the company online, though they will need to be physically present to open a corresponding bank account.
Without rent, the average cost of living in Hong Kong for a single person is just north of $1,000 monthly without rent. For a family of 4, this cost rises to $4,000 without rent. Hong Kong remains one of the most expensive cities in the world.
There are two tax options for corporations in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has two options for corporation tax: a single tier option and a two tier option. The single tier is a flat rate of 16.5%, while the two tier is taxed at half that rate before the first HK$2 million.